Scutari (Albania). On 8 December 2021, in the Salesian Parish Don Bosco in Scutari, during the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Msgr. Angelo Massafra, Metropolitan Archbishop of Scutari-Pult, concelebrated by some Salesians of Don Bosco and diocesan priests, Sr. Eva Bulcaku, FMA of the Southern Province of Our Lady of Good Counsel (IMR) of Albanian origins, made Perpetual Vows in the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The testimony of Sr. Eva on the experience and meaning of Perpetual Profession:
Together with the Salesian communities of Albania, my family, friends, acquaintances from my country, some religious from other congregations, young people, and many children, I said “Yes” forever. I was welcomed into the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians by the newly elected General Councilor for Communication, Sr. Maria Ausilia De Siena. Many are the people who have asked me what it meant to say “Yes” to God forever.
An experience that transforms
I lived the celebration of perpetual vows, but explaining what you feel and what experience is anything but simple. It is an experience that constantly transforms you over time, where fidelity and love of God accompany you day by day. To say yes to God is to have the certainty that what the Lord has begun with you, He will bring to completion. I had heard that perpetual vows are remembered as the most significant moment of the vocation. Personally, I lived an experience that exceeded all my expectations, all my logic and emotions. An experience of so much gratitude and peace.
The gift of vocation
I returned to Albania a few days before perpetual vows (Sr. Eva is a student at the Pontifical Faculty of Education “Auxilium” in Rome) to experience a time of retreat and preparation for the event. I was hosted in the Monastery of the Poor Clares in Shkodra and it was the favorable environment to enter more deeply into a climate of prayer that gave me the opportunity to retrace the great gift of my vocation. In those days, in the diocese of Shkoder, the week dedicated to vocation was lived and the ‘breath of the Spirit’ could be felt overflowing in the Church. On the eve of perpetuals, in the Salesian parish ‘Don Bosco’, a time of reflection and Eucharistic adoration was organized with children and young people. Everything around me was taking shape, until the long-awaited day arrived.
Life given to God and the young
From Italy, to my surprise and joy, two colleagues and study friends came, who for the first time were participating in a perpetual profession. The experience and contact with the Salesian reality in Albania was a gift for them and they were able to experience the beauty of our life which is entirely and freely given to God and to young people. They were able to experience how this makes us people open to everyone and does not take anything away from us, on the contrary as they themselves said, it gives us the possibility to love and to give ourselves more, to be for everyone.
The choice of young people
The day after the Perpetuals, I had the opportunity to meet the school children from early childhood up to the older ones in high school. The emotion was strong, because for the first time after many years, I returned to have direct contact as a Salesian Sister with the children of Albania. It is they who give meaning to my life and encourage me to give myself daily to God. I receive the hundredfold from them.
I am aware that everything I have experienced in these days has been a free gift without any merit on my part. I will take these days with me; they will be like a source to draw from during the journey and where I can continually learn to live the words of Jesus, “I want Mercy and not sacrifices”.
Source: Web site IMR